The Green Bay Packers announced on Wednesday that they have signed safety Micah Abernathy, as well as the previously reported running back Dexter Williams, from the USFL ranks. Abernathy and Williams are the fourth and fifth players signed by the Packers from the spring league this offseason, adding to tight end Sal Cannella, receiver Ishmael Hyman and receiver Osirus Mitchell, who along with long snapper Steven Writel were released to open up the two roster spots for the Packers’ newest signing.
After playing college football at Tennessee, Abernathy got his first crack at football as an undrafted free agent with the Minnesota Vikings. He also had cups of coffee with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Indianapolis Colts, Dallas Renegades of the XFL and most recently the Houston Gamblers of the USFL.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Bill Huber, Abernathy practiced on Wednesday “without having even glimpsed the playbook.” Abernathy, who recorded 71 tackles in the USFL, was 1 of 17 players who the Packers worked out on Tuesday.
There is somewhat of a logjam at the safety position, even with Darnell Savage’s hamstring injury that has kept the starter out of a week’s worth of practices. Behind the other starter at the position, Adrian Amos, Vernon Scott and Shawn Davis are fighting for a roster spot and regular season playing time as the team’s third safety in dime personnel. Dallin Leavitt, who has experience with special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia, and Tariq Carpenter, a hybrid safety-linebacker, are expected to push for a roster spot as significant special teams contributors.
Innis Gaines doing some rehab work pic.twitter.com/AbPlGGyhj9— Big B (@bigpackers4x) August 10, 2022
Innis Gaines, who spent the entire 2021 season on the Packers’ practice squad, also returns to the team in 2022 but is currently dealing with a hamstring injury. Amos and Savage are a part of the “veteran select” who will not play against the San Francisco 49ers in Green Bay’s season opener on Friday, meaning that the team could be down three players at the position on game day. It’s questionable if the team needed to add a fifth safety to suit up against the 49ers, but they can certainly deal with an in-game injury now.
Abernathy has an uphill climb to make the team, as the Packers will need to cut five roster spots between now and Tuesday’s 85-man roster deadline. Ready or not, Abernathy will be fighting for week-to-week survival starting on Friday night.